Xi urges BRICS business community to upgrade cooperation, warns against politicizing global economy
Published: Jun 22, 2022 10:41 PM



In a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the BRICS business community to upgrade cooperation on trade, investment and finance, expand cooperation on cross-border e-commerce, logistics, local currencies and credit rating, and keep industrial and supply chains safe and unclogged. 

During the speech, Xi also warned that to politicize the global economy and turn it into one's tool or weapon, and willfully impose sanctions by using one's primary position in the international financial and monetary systems will only end up hurting one's own interests as well as those of others, and inflict suffering on everyone.

Xi called for upholding the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, remove barriers to trade, investment and technology, and keep the global economy open. 

China will continue to enhance opening-up and foster a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards, Xi said, while encouraging businesses to invest and develop in China, enhance trade and economic cooperation, and share development opportunities.

The BRICS Business Forum was held in Beijing on Wednesday, both online and on-site, on the sidelines of the 14th BRICS Summit, which also kicked off on Wednesday. 

The meetings are aimed at further boosting cooperation among BRICS countries, which account for roughly one-quarter of the global economy, 18 percent of global merchandise trade and 25 percent of global foreign investment. 

Last year, BRICS countries recorded $8.55 trillion in merchandise trade, a surge of 33.4 percent from the prior year, official data showed. 

In addition to the five BRICS members - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRICS Business Forum has also attracted active participation from 13 countries, including Kazakhstan, Argentina, Thailand and Indonesia.

At the forum, participants called for more inclusive trade cooperation at a time when the global economy has been grappling with the fallout of the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic and rising geopolitical tensions.

"Trade and market openness have historically gone hand-in-hand with better economic performances in countries at all levels of development, creating new opportunities for workers, consumers, and firms around the globe and helping to lift millions out of poverty," Busi Mabuza, chairperson of the Industrial Development Corp of South Africa (IDC), said on Wednesday at the BRICS Business Forum.

The world economy is seriously ill, and its lifeblood - international trade - has become weak, sluggish and congested, Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), said on Wednesday.

After rebounding to double-digits in 2021, the annual growth rate of trade is now expected to dwindle to low single-digit rates, according to Al-Benyan.

The more varied and extensive trade flows become, the more resilient the global economy will be to unpredictable disruptions like the ones it has experienced in the last couple of years, he continued, "If I, who come from outside the BRICS countries, can exemplify the increased openness that our world sorely needs, then I would be extremely satisfied with my participation here today."

In the keynote speech on Wednesday, Xi also urged to reject zero-sum games and pursue win-win cooperation. 

The tragedies of the past tell us that hegemony, group politics and bloc confrontation bring no peace or security; they only lead to wars and conflicts, Xi said.

Urging the international community to reject zero-sum games and jointly oppose hegemonism and power politics, Xi called for the building of a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.